I spent much of my youth being afraid of the world. What would Angie say when she saw me wearing the friendship bracelet Em had made for me? The two were so jealous of each other and it was a constant battle of "Who do you like more?" What(more) was so wrong with being friends with the both of them?
I couldn't speak to adults. It was as if they were large beings meant for disapproving glares and harsh words.
Mom said to obey, don't talk back, sit up straight, don't hurt anyone's feelings, don't speak to strangers, don't do that, you'll get hurt. Dad said, "Don't talk," and so I didn't.
Maybe I should've done more--gotten that broken leg from jumping off the roof, talked to that cute boy who kept looking over at me and then looking away, or told off those assholes rather than using the "ignore" method and pretending their words meant nothing. Maybe I would still be here where I am, or maybe I'd be the worse for it. What is "wasted youth" anyway besides perception?